Hamesima X

Its video incarnation eventually destined to become a stocking stuffer for those on Madonna’s Christmas gift list, the Israeli feature Hamesima X is a loopy sci-fi exercise that uses the teachings of the Kabbalah as a springboard for a metaphysical thriller. While its blending of philosophy and B-movie conventions will produce more bemused chuckles than converts, the film certainly earns points for sheer audacity.

The story is set almost entirely within the confines of the headquarters of Israel’s spy agency, the Mossad, where a hard-boiled agent (Shalom Sharon Raginiano) has been given the assignment of interrogating a mysterious figure who has breached its security.

The placid, smiling interloper (co-director/screenwriter Yuval Ovadia) announces that he is an alien sent by angels from a spiritual realm to help the skeptical agent through his myriad personal troubles, including an impending divorce and the recent death of his father, who left a mysterious will.

Displaying extensive personal knowledge of his interrogator’s personal life, the visitor delivers Kabbalah-inspired life lessons augmented by cheesy animated interludes and archival footage of the Holocaust, among other world events. Along the way, he also has psychic run-ins with a demonic tramp and a kung-fu fighting ninja.

The mystical scenario is presented in a ponderous, straight-laced fashion that would make Scientologists blush. Devoid of the humor that might have made the ludicrous proceedings more palatable, Hamesima X merely comes across as a unique curiosity that might inspire playful audience reactions at midnight screenings in Tel Aviv.

Opened: Friday, April 26 (Real Vision Productions)
Cast: Shalom Sharon Raginiano, Yuval Ovadia, Danny Shteg, Rafi Taylor, Eli Ivgi
Directors/screenwriters: Yuval Ovadia, Or Yashar, Prosper Malka
Producer/editor: Yuval Ovadia
Director of photography: Or Yashar
Costume designer: Ofer Shachar
Composer: David D’aur
Not rated, 88 min.